At the end of the summer I end up with more fresh chillies than we can eat so I dry them by tying them to a piece of string and hang them up in the pantry (somewhere dry and relatively dark) until they’re dry and keep them in a jar. These dried chillies can be brought back to life by soaking them in boiling water for 30-60 minutes then whizzed up into amazing chilli pastes. I make relatively small batches (enough for 2-3 recipes) then keep it in a jar in the fridge, but you can double or triple the recipe for larger batches.
Makes approx. 50ml
1 large fresh chilli
8 dried red chillies
1 lemongrass stalk
1 large piece of ginger
1/2 head of garlic
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
2 chopped spring onions (or 1 small shallot)
65ml of the chilli soaking water
- Put the dried chillies in a Pyrex jug and pour over boiling water then leave for 45 minutes to an hour to soften. Once the chillies are soft, reserve 65ml of the water then drain off the rest. Blitz the rehydrated chillies until well pulped.
- Peel and roughly chop the ginger and garlic (and shallot if using). Remove the stalk and roughly chop the fresh chilli. Roughly chop the spring onions.
- Add the ginger, garlic, fresh chilli and onion to the dried chilli pulp, pour over the chilli water and blitz until you have the paste consistency you want. Store in a sterilized container in the fridge for up to 2 months.